KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): The High Court today was told that since the appointment of Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as Federal Territories Minister in 2013, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) received numerous applications from developers to purchase its land through outright sale.
Former Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Phesal Talib, 65, while reading his written statement, said outright sales were not a common practice for DBKL.
“Outright sale in this case is sale of land owned by the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur to developers for certain projects only, such as Affordable Homes.
“In the past, the concept of development on DBKL land was joint venture (JV) between DBKL and developers,” he said during the examination in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim on the seventh day of the corruption trial of Tengku Adnan involving RM2 million.
Ahmad Phesal, who is currently deputy chairman of the Education Commission of Malaysia, said in order to meet the target of the Federal Territory Ministry to build 80,000 units of affordable homes in Kuala Lumpur, Tengku Adnan directed DBKL to identify potential land for the purpose.
The 18th prosecution witness said for DBKL, outright sale of its land was a new practice at the time so there was no standard operating procedure (SOP) to follow.
Nevertheless, Ahmad Phesal said DBKL implemented the concept based on policies and regulations set by the federal government.
“DBKL obtained quicker returns from the outright sales as it did not have direct responsibility and obligations on the land after full payment by the developer and completion of the land transfer.
“In addition, DBKL could rest assured that the companies in the outright sales were credible and capable of completing projects on time,” said Ahmad Phesal who was Kuala Lumpur Mayor for three years from July 18, 2012.
On the procedure of selling DBKL-owned land through outright sale, he said the process started with an application from the developer to purchase and develop certain plots via a letter to the Federal Territories Minister (Tengku Adnan) seeking his support.
He said the developers would identify the land they wanted through making official searches themselves at the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Lands and Mines office.
“DBKL never made any advertisements to invite any person to purchase its land,” he said.
To a question by Tengku Adnan's lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan on whether the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Affordable Homes project (RUMAWIP KL) was successful, Ahmad Phesal replied, “I think the project was important and successful because it was the government's policy at the time to sell affordable housing to people earning below RM3,000”.
The witness also agreed with counsel's suggestion that Tengku Adnan was a minister who cared for needy city dwellers hence the affordable homes for low-income residents.
According to the charge, Tengku Adnan in his capacity as a civil servant, namely, Federal Territories Minister, corruptly accepted RM2 million from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong.
He allegedly received the money through a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas which was deposited into the CIMB account of Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd, in which he had an interest, and full knowledge of Aset Kayamas' connections to his official duties.
Tengku Adnan is accused of committing the offence at CIMB Bank Berhad branch in Pusat Bandar Damansara here on June 14, 2016, under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both, upon conviction.
The hearing before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues. — Bernama